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Meco all'altar di venere

Opera details:

Opera title:



Vincenzo Bellini




Norma Synopsis


Norma Libretto


English Deutsch

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Manuel Salazar - Meco all' altar di Venere

Singer: Giovanni Martinelli

Manuel “Melico” Salazar (1887-1950) was born in the town of San Jose, Costa Rica and displayed outstanding vocal talent from an early age. By the age of fifteen, the young singer was appearing in small roles in local zarzuela productions. He began studying voice with Italian born composer and pianist, Alvise Castegnaro, but realized that studies in Italy were needed to start a serious operatic career. Shortly after his 20th birthday, Salazar set sail for Italy, where he lodged with Castegnaro’s family in Milan. After three years of intense study, the budding tenor returned to the Americas and signed his first professional contract. Salazar made his operatic debut in 1910 with a small company touring Cuba, Mexico and Central America. In 1911, he appeared professionally in his homeland for the first time as Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Radames in Aïda. That same year, he made his U.S. debut on tour with the Lombardi Opera Company, singing a variety of roles in Los Angeles, Memphis, Seattle and other cities. After additional tours with Fortune Gallo’s legendary San Carlo Opera, Salazar returned to Italy for further study. According to some sources, he made his European debut in Milan as Radu in Leoncavallo’s forgotten opera Zingari in December of 1913. Other sources claim it was as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Teatro dal Verme in 1914. Regardless, Salazar was on his way.

For the next two seasons, the tenor bounced around the Italian and Spanish provinces before settling in the U.S. in 1915. Salazar rejoined the San Carlo Opera for another tour that took him to such cities as New York, Boston, Detroit and St. Louis. It was during another tour…in Cuba this time…that Salazar was pressed into service as a last minute replacement for Caruso in Il Trovatore. Hearing of the young tenor’s success, Caruso attended a performance of Salazar’s Otello a few days later and reportedly led him to the stage for his curtain call at the opera’s conclusion. Interestingly, it was as a Caruso replacement of sorts that Salazar was contracted at the Metropolitan after the great tenor’s death in 1921. Salazar’s debut there was yet another last minute affair…he stepped in for an indisposed Giovanni Martinelli in La Forza del Destino on New Year’s Eve, 1921. His official debut with the company occurred several weeks later, on February 24, 1922 as Canio in Pagliacci. The reviews were rather indifferent, with Oscar Thompson of Musical America stating that Salazar, “…sang the role creditably. The voice is not a large one in the Metropolitan, nor one of uniformly good quality.” Unfortunately, the tenor really never had much of a chance to make an impression on Met audiences. He sang exactly nine operatic performances in house (and another two on tour), as well as a trio of concerts during his two seasons there.

During his two decades in the U.S., Salazar sang leading roles in a wide variety of operas such as Tosca, La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Andrea Chénier, Nerone, La Gioconda, Manon, Carmen, Thaïs, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, Un Ballo in Maschera, Rigoletto and, his greatest role, Otello. He was a frequent visitor to the stages of Havana, Lima, Rio, Bari, Barcelona, Moscow, Leningrad, Riga and Berlin. He returned to his native Costa Rica in 1938 and retired shortly thereafter. Although he was a beloved national figure and was bestowed with a sizeable pension by the Costa Rican government, he was not destined to enjoy a peaceful retirement. During Costa Rica’s political upheaval of the late 1940s, Salazar pledged his support to former president Rafael Calderón. Unfortunately, Calderón’s rival, José Figueres, managed to seize power during the Civil War of 1948 and Salazar found himself on the wrong side of the revolution. Stripped of his pension and ostracized by his countrymen, Salazar spent his final years in abject poverty and obscurity. He died on August 6, 1950, a forgotten and broken man…a sad end for the once popular figure.

The years have not been kind to the memory of Melico Salazar, probably due to the fact that his recorded legacy is practically nil. Apart from a single test recording for Edison, Salazar’s entire recorded output consists of eight sides for Columbia (one of which was never released) and a 40-minute film of highlights from Verdi’s Otello…hardly the basis for a comprehensive critical analysis of the tenor’s artistry. Still, Salazar’s handful of recordings offer a sometimes thrilling glimpse into the performance style of Costa Rica’s greatest dramatic tenor. In this recording, made for Columbia in 1929, Salazar sings Pollione's aria, "Meco all' altar di Venere" from Bellini's Norma.

Watch videos with other singers performing Meco all'altar di venere:

Franco Corelli Meco all altar di Venere Breathtaking 24592
5 - Franco Corelli
SALVATORE FISICHELLA Meco all altar di Venere  24635
5 - Salvatore Fisichella

Mario Del Monaco in Munich Concert Meco all altar di  94409
5 - Mario Del Monaco
Mario Filippeschi Sings Meco all altar di Venere From Bellini s Norma 24594
5 - Mario Filippeschi

Placido Domingo in Norma Meco all altar di Veneremp4 24611
5 - Plácido Domingo
Russell Thomas sings Pollione in Norma by Bellini 24615
5 - Russell Thomas

Gregory Kunde Bellini Norma Warszawa 2010 94415
5 - Gregory Kunde

Svanir le vociMeco all altar di Venere NormaBellini Teodor Ilincai 24622
5 - Teodor Ilincăi

Meco all altar di Venere Fabio Armiliato NormaBellini 24597
5 - Fabio Armiliato
Tenore GIANNI RAIMONDI Norma Meco all altar di Venere Scena aria e cabaletta Live 1972 24612
5 - Gianni Raimondi

Charles Craig Tenor at 61 sings Meco all altar di Venere Norma Live Covent Garden 1980 94419
5 - Charles Craig
Carlo Cossutta Svanir le vociMeco all altar di VenereMe protegge me difende Norma 94422
5 - Carlo Cossutta

Jose Cura sings Bellini 94425
5 - José Cura
Riccardo Massi Meco all altar di Venere VBellini Norma 24601
5 - Riccardo Massi

Roberto Aronica Bellini Norma Zurich 2011 94426
5 - Robert Wilson
Bellini Norma Zoran Todorovich sings Polione 94427
5 - Zoran Todorovich

V Bellini Meco all altar di Venere tenore Stefan Pop 94428
5 - Ștefan Pop
Brandon Jovanovich Bellini Norma Trieste 2009 99 94430
5 - Brandon Jovanovich

5 - Carlo Bergonzi
Giuseppe Giacomini Meco all altar di Venere Norma 1992 24613
5 - Giuseppe Giacomini

JOHN ALEXANDER Meco all altar di Venere Me protegge 1972 LIVE Hartford CT 94448
5 - John Alexander

Giovanni Martinelli Meco all altar di Venere Live 94449
5 - Giovanni Martinelli

Lando Bartolini Svanir le vociMeco all altarMe protegge me difende Norma V Bellini 94455
5 - Lando Bartolini
John Osborn sings Meco all altar di Venere from Norma Live at Schloss Braunfels 94460
5 - John Osborn

Francesco Merli Meco all altar di Venere 94461
5 - Francesco Merli
Robleto Merolla Meco all altar di VenereMe protegge me difende 1971 Madrid 94465
6 - James Morris

Gino Penno Meco all altar di Venere 24628
5 - Gino Penno
Arnold Rutkowski Pollione Norma V Bellini 94472
5 - Arnold Rutkowski

Carlo Albani Meco all altar di Venere 94481
6 - Enrico Delle Sedie
Bruno Prevedi Meco all altar di Venere Norma Vincenzo Bellini 94483
5 - Bruno Prevedi

Meco all altar di Venere Norma Maria Callas 24614
1 - Maria Callas
Bellini Norma Act 1 Meco all altar di Venere  24599
5 - Luciano Pavarotti

Norma Norma Act I Meco all altar di Venere 94495
5 - Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
Norma ACT 1 Scene 1 Meco all altar di Venere Pollione 94497
5 - Mirto Picchi

Norma Act I Meco all altar di Venere Pollione 24605
5 - Jon Vickers

Norma Norma Act I Meco all altar di venere Me protegge me difende 94505
5 - Pier Miranda Ferraro

Norma Act I Scene 1 Svanir le voci Meco all altar di Venere Me protegge me difende 94508
5 - Vincenzo La Scola
Norma Act I Scene 1 Meco all altar di Venere Pollione Flavio Chorus 94541
5 - Kurt Baum

1 - Daniela Dessì
5 - Fabio Armiliato
John Alexander Meco all altar di VenereMe protegge me difende Boston 1971 94486
5 - John Alexander
6 - Donald Gramm

Norma Act I Meco all altar di Venere 94494
5 - Franco Corelli
5 - Piero de Palma
Norma Act I Svanir le voci Meco all altar di Venere Me protegge me difende  94504
5 - Charles Anthony
5 - Plácido Domingo


In rammentarlo io tremo.

Meco all'altar di Venere
Era Adalgisa in Roma,
Cinta di bende candide,
Sparsa di fior la chioma;
Udia d'Imene i cantici,
Vedea fumar gl'incensi,
Eran rapiti i sensi
Di voluttade e amore.
Quando fra noi terribile
Viene a locarsi un'ombra
L'ampio mantel druidico
Come un vapor l'ingombra;
Cade sull'ara il folgore,
D'un vel si copre il giorno,
Muto si spande intorno
Un sepolcrale orror.
Più l'adorata vergine
Io non mi trovo accanto;
N'odo da lunge un gemito
Misto de' figli al pianto …
Ed una voce orribile
Echeggia in fondo al tempio
Norma così fa scempio
D'amante traditor!

English Libretto or Translation:

Even recalling it, I tremble!

Adalgisa was with me, in Rome,
At the altar of Venus,
Dressed in pure white
With flowers in her hair.
As she heard the hymns of Hymen
And breathed the holy incense,
Her senses were enraptured
With the joy of love...
Suddenly between us there descended
A horrible shadow,
And the great Druidic mantle
Enfolded her like smoke.
Lightning flashed on the altar,
And the day was veiled in darkness.
Silently, all around,
Rose a tomb?like horror.
The beloved maiden
as no longer at my side.
From afar I heard a sob,
Mingled with the weeping of my children.
Then a monstrous voice
Echoed through the temple, saying:
This is the vengeance of Norma
Upon her faithless lover!